Eagles head coach Doug Pederson spoke on Wednesday morning and gave some injury updates, talked about the offensive line personnel, and how they have to plan for facing Aaron Donald in Week 2.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
- Javon Hargrave is “getting closer, not going to put a timetable on it” but when they do get him back they are going to get him into the mix.
- Pederson said that he expects Miles Sanders, Lane Johnson, and Derek Barnett to practice on Wednesday, but Brandon Graham is still in the concussion protocol.
On Carson Wentz
Pederson was asked about drafting Carson Wentz vs. Jared Goff back in 2016. The head coach explained that both quarterbacks were at the top of their list and they did their due diligence on both. Ultimately, they felt that Wentz was the right fit for Philadelphia with his skillset and experience. Look back, however, Pederson agreed that the Eagles would have taken Goff had the Rams taken Wentz at No. 1.
BGN’s Brandon Gowton asked about Wentz not moving out of the pocket as much in Week 1 as he did at the end of 2019. Pederson’s response:
I asked Doug Pederson why we didn’t see Wentz out of the pocket more if he’s fully healthy. His full response: pic.twitter.com/tMO2I8v80B— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) September 16, 2020
On the offensive line
Newly added guard Jamon Brown is a guy that has to get into the mix and get into the playbook, and then they have to feel comfortable to get him into the game — but that doesn’t have to be the whole playbook, it could just be 1 or 2 runs or a specific situation. Pederson wouldn’t say how long they expect that to take — noting that’s a question for Brown and how quickly he learns the material —, but said it could be a few days to a week.
Pederson was asked about the decision to bring in two more guards rather than wide receivers. He explained that they usually carry 10 lineman on the active 53, but they also have a unique situation in utilizing the practice squad this season, and adding more will help their depth later on in the season.
He did, however, say that the right guard position is Nate Herbig’s job “right now” and that he will have to keep competing to keep it. Additionally, while they expect Lane Johnson to play on Sunday, if for some reason he can’t, Jack Driscoll will get another opportunity to start at right tackle.
Pederson later talked about Miles Sanders’ contribution in pass protection — something the running backs struggled with in Week 1 — and how the second-year played improved a lot throughout his rookie season. The head coach, however, noted that Sanders has missed a lot of time, so it’s going to take some practice time for him to get his eyes back and listening to the protection calls. But, having his ability to pass protect, helps the whole unit.
On Aaron Donald prep
Pederson said that Aaron Donald is a tremendous player, and there aren’t many offensive lines out there that slow him down. Donald goes full speed from snap to whistle each play, so they have to keep an eye on him since they move him around a lot more.
He later explained that it’s not exactly game planning for just one guy, but it’s more about knowing where he is on the field — at defensive tackle or defensive end — within the scheme.